Monday, May 07, 2007

The first weekend in May, 07

IKEA SAYS

When IKEA SAYS RELAX... you listen! Our plan for the first Bank Holiday in May (I get the last Monday in May off too... yay Banks!!!) was to relax... and we tried our hardest... afterall, we were under orders.

blue sky and an airplane

Earlier in the week... the skies over Motherwell were a glorious shade of blue... Olly bought a hammock recently from IKEA and it was positioned just right (thanks Honey) to catch the last rays of sun.

Hammock Time

I tried my best to rush home from work and soak up some sun. It was, afterall, Hammock Time (queue MC Hammer)... You have to grab what you can in Scotland... our weather is so unpredictable! Although, you have to be careful... there is nothing worse (nor funnier) that bright pink skin after a sunny spell. As Billy Connolly is quoted as saying... Scots take a week to turn from pale blue to white.

On Friday night... as we were just getting ready to sit down to watch Ugly Betty... I went to take Gnasher out for a walk - I poked my head into the cupboard where her lead is kept (or should I say my lead - afterall, she takes me for a walk!) and I smelt this awful, horrendous, something-or-someone-has-died-on-a-hot-summer's-day-three-weeks-ago kind of smell. The kind of smell that makes me wonder how folk don't miss their neighbours when you hear stories of how they died and nobody noticed. The smell was manky!

Cut a long story short... one of our main fuses had be knocked (how? we don't know) and was slowly melting... the smell was that horrible melting plastic smell you only smell when some numpty has set a bin alight. Yuk. Our electricity supplier was very good... responded straight away... sorted it out. Relief all round! Relieved to catch the end of the show... AND... that we didn't die in a house fire!

On Saturday... we spent time hunting for a bike for Dayna. Her present bike is too wee for her... so we picked up a super-dooper mountain bike all terrain monster that she won't be allowed to use in mountain / all terrain type places as she's only eight... and we worry.

Olly spent a lot of time helping Dayna master the bike... she's a wee feerty and is cautious (or lazy depending on your point of view) just like her dad. Miriam, on the other hand, is a wee dare devil. She will be 6 in June... and nothing scares her (except for the baddies in Dr Who!) She ask... nay TOLD... her mother to remove her stabilisers and promptly began riding two-wheels. It was amazing to watch her... and hilarious to hear her smugness when recounting the story.

Later on that evening... we'd just finished watching Dr Who (best series yet!) and had put the film Nacho Libre on the DVD... when my folks and my Aunt Ann turned up at the door. The livingroom was a picture - cans of juice... packets of crisps... sweeties... cups of tea... Why oh why do people come when your livingroom is suitably lived in?

Yvonne, D & Olly

On Sunday... my life and I... along with the we'ans headed through to Cowdenbeath to see our pals - the Fergusons.

D's Collection (with my G-Shock at the end)

D is a huge watch geek - its what he does for a living. We spent some time... as I set up his new iPod... taking watches. I have a lovely Casio G-Shock (far right) that was produced to commemorate their 20th anniversary. I love it. Unfortunately, for D, is not Swiss. He showed me parts of his collection - his Jaeger le Coutre "reverso" (far left) [the watch swivels on a hinge so you can reverse it and protect the face]... his Panerai... and his Omega Seamaster - pretty amazing. The Panerai itself is worth a few notes - they are big on limiting their supply... I think, from what D spoke of, they only release 80-odd watches into Britain a year. Collectors go daft for them! I love talking to geeks... people who have a deep passion for something like collecting... it fascinates me.

D & Me

Olly and I love Yvonne & D to bits - they are great friends and have been (and continue to be) a great support to us. Its always good to spend time with them.

Sunday was a day for connections. A few miles South West... friends were getting together at Roots in Southport.

Chris + Johnny.jpg

I had asked Chris Hinton and Johnny Laird to hook up... and I was so glad to hear they did. Unfortunately, they couldn't complete the Pro-Ked Challenge as the only Pro-Keds left were size 4s... but I was delighted, nonetheless, that they had been able to hook up.

I also received a text from John B (man with halfro) who was approached by Mr Laird... because he recognised him from his recent pic on this ol' blog. This knocked me down with delight.

And just as I had picked myself up... I got a text from Mr Hinton saying he had just bumped into Mr Lard. Wow! I was envious... still am!

Stayed over at my folks in Livingston... which is always lovely. The plan of attack for Monday was to experience the Falkirk Wheel.

falkirk wheel

Its an amazing piece of engineering... and a great experience riding a barge up it... and then back down. Shame the weather turned nasty.

Balance

The way it works... especially considering the weight and the power needed to make it work (its a good few tonnes and only needs the equivalent of 8 toasters to power it)... is amazing. For once, we have a worthwhile Millennium project! Our thanks to my folks for their kindness - for the trip to the Falkirk Wheel and for dinner too. We don't get enough time to share like this - thank you!

Jim & Doogs

Afterwards, we headed back to Livi for some food... and bumped into Doogs and an old, old friend, James. Its fab to see Doogs blazing for his Lord in his own unique way. Keep it up, bro! It was also weird to see James - he is the son of an old friend of mine... someone I haven't seen in over 10 years. It was lovely to see him all grown up. Need to keep in touch... leave a comment, James, and let me know how things are!

Its been a great weekend. I am blessed with the amazing people I have in my life - especially this person here:

my life

Honey... you keep me going!

I'm off to Leeds tomorrow for the day... will try to gather some of the thoughts running through my head and post something less Headphonau-centric tomorrow.
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